Lately, a few members have been discussing the use of 3D printed parts in use with metal casting techniques to create some stronger, lighter and more durable parts. As all good hackerspace conversations do, we immediately decided to go with the most painful and difficult solution: Metal Casting. Luckily for us the very next day, we got an e-mail that a local group, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, that they intended on hosting an aluminium greensand casting class. A perfect opportunity to learn some metal casting techniques, even if not totally applicable to what we wanted to ultimately end up casting. Andrew S., and myself both signed up along with a few friends of Hive76.

About 30 minutes into making our own greensand molds, we realized that this was going to be a difficult process, and immediately destroyed several hours of work trying to get a good crisp mold for our first pour.

Broken Greensand Mold

A simple gear was too difficult

Several hours into our class, we managed to finally get a good solid mold of a 3D printed TARDIS. We hopped in line and got a pretty good looking cast. Andrew also attempted the TARDIS with some success. He also managed to get some good casts of a wooden puzzle, including one that blew out. However, due to our earlier troubles, we decided to hedge our bets and get one more good pour out of the class before we would start wrapping up. While waiting to pour ours, I was being shown how to work the furnace by Gus, and ended up melting down plenty of scrap and helping others make their pours which was a lot of fun to be working with. The furnace was operating at about 1300 Celsius, and moving around molten metal at that temperature can be quite a thrill. We plan on working with Gus and Darla at Philadelphia Sculpture Gym on some other types of casting techniques, especially as they apply to our 3D printing. We look forward to working with them in the future, and hope you all consider taking their next Greensand class in January.


I just got back from the 2012 Open Science Summit which took place in Mountain View, CA. It was an excellent meeting and a great opportunity to meet others using open tools and ideas to forward Science! Check out the list of talks and you can also access videos of all of the talks. And you can also read more about the speakers.

I gave a talk too where I delved deeper into the science behind our work with RepRap for research in Regenerative Medicine and I made the case that open source is a philosophy, not a checkbox. Try not to get caught up in semantics of open vs. not-open (e.g. one could try to label Arduino as not an “open” platform since it has proprietary Atmel chips on the board). Instead, try to think of open projects as those in which you see people as collaborators (“open”), not customers (“closed”). We all have many things we can learn from each other, and who doesn’t want more collaborators to learn science together? Some interesting Q&A at the end too.


We are cosponsoring Cory’s Pirate Cinema event at IndyHall tonight, but since there’s not much for Hive76 to do, we decided to make him a present. Here’s a video of production last night:

That’s a 3D printed sugar head! Cory’s excited to see it in person. You should be too! Come to IndyHall 22N 3rd at 7pm tonight. Here’s the Anyvite link to RSVP. We’ll be bringing a boomcase for the PA too.

The gritty details: That’s a Baricuda extruder using air pressure to extrude molten sugar. Now I need to figure out how he can get it home to the UK in one piece.

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Hive76 @ Maker Faire NYC 2012

Hive76 sure made the rounds at this year’s Maker Faire. With 2 tables in the 3D Printing Village, we had a steady stream of visitors both

eagleApex being interviewed

days, ranging from Chocolateers, Digital Artists, to young children asking about 3D printing toys and parts for their projects. Discussion started about 10 minutes after we left Maker Faire for what to do next year. Check out the album for some quick snapshots of this year’s events including Karaoke, Thumb Wrestling, and of course, the occasional interview.


At Makerfaire in NYC this Saturday, Hive76 will be running a race to test the quality and speed of any 3D printers that would like to participate.

3D printed race car

3D printed race car, unrelated

We will have an announcement and official start in the 3D Printer village at noon on Saturday. But the basic premise is this:

  • We will announce and post a 3D model on this page.
  • Racers will download and print the model in any material
  • The model will need to fit on a metal part and hold water
  • The first part to hold water without leaking for 5 minutes wins!
  • The prizes: a Math Watch by eagleApex (me) and a file to print your own trophy!
In summary, printing an accurate, water–tight part quickly will be a good balance of those three 3D printing goals.

Besides this 3D printer vs Man race, I think this is the first race of it’s kind! I hope you participate and I’ll see you there.


Here’s the file for the race!


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Hive76’s own PJ Santoro will be doing the “Main Presentation” at

the Philadelphia Area Computer Society‘s kickoff meeting, Saturday,

September 15th.

His topic will be “Arduino: Where It’s Been, Where It’s Headed, and Why You Should Care”.

After the main presentation, a beginner class will be taught in the Linux SIG.

PACS Schedule available here.


Rob Bishop, a developer with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is going to be taking a short tour of US hackerspaces. We are pleased to announce that Hive76 has been included on that list!

Because we are expecting a very high level of interest in this event, we have decided that our studio space is a little too small to accomodate the number of people we are expecting to attend. Philadelphia’s University of the Arts has  graciously offered up some space for us to meet in. There are only 30 spots available, so act fast; this will sell out. Ticket purchased are limited to 2 per person. You’ll find the link below.

If you’ve been wanting to get a taste of the Raspberry Pi (:P), you will not want to miss this event. The event is free to the public, but space is limited! Rob will have Pi(s) for sale at $35 per board. They are still on back-order from major  distributors, so now is your chance to grab one!

Here is what to expect:

Rob Bishop from the RaspberryPi Foundation is touring popular hackspaces in the US throughout September 2012 with the aim of giving talks and workshops about the RaspberryPi to both the hackspace members and also RaspberryPi users in the local community.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charitable organisation founded with the aim of promoting the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level. The Foundation is responsible for the design and sales of the popular RaspberryPi single-board computer. You can find out more about the Foundation and the RaspberryPi here.

The event at each hackspace will informally consist of the following;

  • Talk:
    • RaspberryPi: Past, Present & Future – An introduction to the RaspberryPi, including an overview of its history and development, details on the technical specification and an outline of future developments with many cool tech demos along the way. Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Tech Demos:
    • A chance to demonstrate various OS’s and other demos
  • Workshop:
    •  A chance to play with the RaspberryPi hands-on.
  • Show & Tell / Prizes: 
    • An opportunity to display RaspberryPi projects from the community with prizes for notable projects.

The tour will be blogged/vlogged on the RaspberryPi website and we hope to attract RaspberryPi enthusiasts and hackers/makers from across the areas we will be visiting, allowing us to meet and support our community.

Here are the details on where we are meeting and at what time:

University of the Arts, Terra Hall, 5th floor

211 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Monday, September 24th, 7:00PM-10:00PM


Update: Corrected UArts address
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Only 5 Tickets Left!

Wow, these things are selling a lot faster than I expected. There is still a week left and most of the tickets are gone. If you’re still interested, you should hurry and buy one to secure your place. If you are interested but can’t make it to Monday, August 6th, leave a comment on what dates would work better as I’m looking to have an alternate class schedule as well.

Some Q/A

A few questions came up in the last post, so here are some answers summarized for anyone who doesn’t read blog-post comments.

  • What time is the class? The class starts at 7pm on Monday, August 6th, 2012.
  • Can I just show up? I would prefer if you signed up for a ticket first, so I know how many people are coming.
  • Is there anything we should have/know before the class? You’ll need your own laptop computer, we don’t have enough public computers to go around at Hive. I will briefly cover some options for text editors in a blog post or at the beginning of the class, but if you already have a favorite text editor like Notepad++, Gvim, or TextMate, then by all means use that. Also, it would be advantageous for you to setup some sort of webspace. There are some free places like, or you could even use the Public folder if you have a Dropbox account, which is quite convenient.
  • Is it just JavaScript in general, or does it include HTML 5 and Canvas? Various HTML 5 techs will definitely be covered, eventually. You can’t really do much graphically without it. JavaScript, HTML 5, and CSS 3 all go hand-in-hand. While there are some Dynamic HTML stuff that can be done (and we will certainly cover it just because DOM manipulation is a good skill to have), eventually Canvas and Audio are a necessities.
  • Why not do <insert language> instead? That’s a really big question…

JavaScript games

Just wanted to let everyone know that we’re about two weeks away from the class. You can still register for tickets at the Eventbrite page:

In the meantime, check out some of these games that other people have written to play directly in browsers with JavaScript and HTML 5

In particular, if you can read code already, check out the source on Runfield. It’s not commented at all, but the code is fairly well structured.

These should give you an idea of what is possible; basically anything, really. There’s even one game that’s in 3D, *without* using WebGL. We’re not going to go that far (and honestly, I haven’t written a software rasterizer in more than 7 years), but that is quite impressive. When I started learning to program and playing around with little games in JavaScript many years ago, you couldn’t even write a full clone of the original Dragon Warrior and expect it to run at a reasonable frame-rate.

Here are a couple of more links to some game lists


Intro to Game Programming with JavaScript


Programming is a lot of fun, and games are one of the best ways to get exposed to a variety of different programming tasks. My name is Sean McBeth and I’m versed in many ways of programming, having been working as a professional software developer for over 10 years. In that time, JavaScript has always been there for me. It is a language that everyone can run in some shape or form, thanks to the ubiquity of Web browsers; it is the BASIC of the modern computing era. Sharing that knowledge is important to me, so I am offering a class where everyone learns (or polishes) an extremely useful scripting language (JavaScript, aka ECMAScript, but NOT Java) in a very compelling medium (ahem, games).